All true knowledge of the world, our world, our life, where we want to go and who we want or do not want to be, is gained through the part of ourselves that most of us spend the least amount of time working on, studying, or exploring.
Ironically, this part of ourselves that we spend the least amount of time working on, is also the only thing in the world that we can control. Everything else we only have partial domain over!
Think of this as well: there is a global shortage or deficit in being able to manage and understand this part of self. “Only 36% of people when tested are able to accurately identify” these things in their life (Bradberry, T. Emotional Intelligence 2.0).
We are not working on, nor can we identify the only thing that we can control in our life. That is the challenge.
We are constantly looking in the wrong direction for life direction, as we stare at our phone or computer or into the TV searching to experience something more, something meaningful, and something different than what we already have or that our parents had/have.
We want more but cannot seem to find it.
All the answers to the test though, so to speak, live in the place we find and access when we close our eyes, period.
Everything real and meaningful lives inside our inner experience, not what we learn, see, hear, or taste from the outside world.
Our emotions, feelings, intuition, longings, joy and sadness, all things that we cannot physically touch, are what drive and animate our entire life and our experience of it.
Driving Force Behind Everything
Robert Monroe, one of the greatest thinkers and explorers of human consciousness, and the founder of the Monroe Institute, reminds us of the reality of our feelings and emotions:
- There has “not been a single major act in human history not driven or inspired by emotion” (Monroe, R., Far Journeys)
- “Emotion is key to and driving force underlying every thought and action in human existence” (Monroe, R., Far Journeys)
- “Every moment of existence we are a seething brew of emotional response to both internal and external stimuli” (Monroe, R., Far Journeys)
John Bradshaw agrees and reminds us that “our emotions are our most fundamental power” (Homecoming).
A good movie, a meaningful relationship, receiving a clever text or meme, the exhaustion and boredom of staring at Instagram, or traveling to a new city are all, only, outside stimuli or events that temporarily affect how we feel.
We have to come back to our deepest emotions, sensibilities, and core inner experiences to fully understand though what we want and where we want to go. We must simmer in our inner world in order to find our place and meaning in the outer world.
The challenge is that we are not intimately familiar with our emotions, do not trust that they hold the answers to anything or store any meaningful insights.
Our rational mind, our adult attention, blocks and is skeptical about this inner world, these perceptions and emotions that stir within.
We have been saturated with outside stimuli for years, soaked in the lives and words and images of other people, other generations, so we do not even know at times what we feel. We look to other’s experiences at the expense of our own inner landscape.
The reason we do not feel whole, complete, and sated, and why we keep plunging into our phones and TV’s is because we seek truths but cannot find them. We keep using our senses (eyes, ears, mouth, etc.) and our rational mind.
Without tuning into our inner world of emotions, we are only using ½ of our resources, ½ of the tools that we are imbued with.
We are at war inside, our thoughts battling our feelings. All that is logical and analytical in us becoming undone by everything irrational, impulsive, and impassioned.
Your relationships and life experience reflect this war in you. “There is a sub-war between left and right brainers”, between our emotion-based right brain and our logic-infused left brain” (Monroe, R. Ultimate Journey).
I call it Half Syndrome. Without this other ½, we will never know, never get to the bottom of our life:
- Without the wisdom of our feelings, “we are only partially successful using an incorrect standard of measurement” (Far Journey)
- The “reality that lies behind sensory perception and beyond the cogitations of the rationalizing mind, can only be grasped by intuition—awakening the intuitive knowing” (Yogananda, Autobiography of a Yogi)
- “But ordinary people, unprepared in their receptivity, are not able either to comprehend or to practice the deeper wisdom-truths” (Yogananda, Autobiography of a Yogi)
- “People will do anything, no matter how absurd, to avoid facing their own soul….who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes” (Carl Jung)
Final Answer, Sit…Please
The only way to access this inner world of your feelings is to sit quietly, to close your eyes, sit in a chair or cushion, and begin the long, slow, powerful trek into the heart of your life, which is that muscle inside your rib cage:
- Sitting quietly by yourself is an ancient exercise
- It is also the healthiest thing you can do
- Sitting “relaxes the heart and strengthens the mind’s ability to connect symbols and meaning” (Jaffe, E. Meditate on It, smithsonian.com)
One of science’s greatest minds, Blaise Pascal, a man who invented the mechanical calculator and who has a law, theorem, and coefficient solving matrix (triangle) named after him, said this about sitting: “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone”.
Our ancestors some 250,000 years ago meditated alone and sat in groups in prayer, song, and dance in order to better understand issues, determine outcomes, and improve physical and psychological health.
They understood and recognized the power of balancing the physical constructs of their community with the less knowable, non-physical elements (growing cycles, weather and migratory patterns, etc.) that guided and informed their lives.
- “Ritualistic gatherings sharpened mental focus” (Jaffe, E. Meditate on It) and provided this balance
- Meditation also reduces the noise level and changes the functioning of nervous system’s ability to handle stress
- You and your life will become more efficient, creating deeper possibility (Sannella, L. The Kundalini Experience)
- Modern researchers have even found that several areas in the brains of meditators, notably areas associated with attention, are actually thicker than in the brains of non-meditators (Sara Lazar, Harvard University)
Bill O’Herron, March 15th, 2020